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trailwalker

Families dropping out

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I'm afraid Baden P's last post is all too true.

 

 

I started out with a fresh program four years ago, but it's been repeated several times. I'm out of ideas and other families haven't stepped up with new ideas.

 

A pack for which I'm unit Commissioner has new leadership and is trying some exciting new things. They are doing the traditional Halloween party, but with a largely new program. It's nice to see and exciting for parents, and will probably be exciting for Cub Scouts when they see it.

 

I attended the Pack Committee Meeting last night, which had eight parents plus myself as UC attending --- pretty good.

 

The new Committee Chair has a lot of energy and new ideas, which is terrific to see.

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We had one mom ask me about the policy a couple of weeks ago. She wanted to know what our Pack policy is on homosexuals in our Pack, compared to the BSA policy. I just reiterated to her that, since our Pack comes under the umbrella of BSA, our policy on the issue coincides with BSA policy. If BSA changes their policy, our policy will coincide with BSA policy.

 

I am our committe chair and have been for 5 out of my 6 years in the Pack. I know that our COR & unit commissioner agree with my reply to her.

 

She said that they couldn't be a part of a group that discriminates like that. They've been in the Pack for 4 years. She didn't say much when I mentioned that BSA policy hasn't changed. This has been the policy for quite a few years, she just didn't know it until now.

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We had one mom ask me about the policy a couple of weeks ago. She wanted to know what our Pack policy is on homosexuals in our Pack, compared to the BSA policy. I just reiterated to her that, since our Pack comes under the umbrella of BSA, our policy on the issue coincides with BSA policy. If BSA changes their policy, our policy will coincide with BSA policy.

 

I am our committe chair and have been for 5 out of my 6 years in the Pack. I know that our COR & unit commissioner agree with my reply to her.

 

She said that they couldn't be a part of a group that discriminates like that. They've been in the Pack for 4 years. She didn't say much when I mentioned that BSA policy hasn't changed. This has been the policy for quite a few years, she just didn't know it until now.

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awanatech,

 

Thanks for the comment.

 

To others, Agree with the policy or not, that's not the point I was making. Many people refuse to acknowledge that some people A) are ignorant of the issue and B) when they find out they leave over it. That is a fact that cannot be disputed yet people here have made comments that those people must be lieing about why they leave.

 

I do completely agree that most of the people that drop out do so because of a program that did not meet there expectations or conflict with sports. However, there are also many that either just find out about the policies or suddenly decide they can no longer support them and drop out because of that. And I may be wrong, but for every one of those there are probably several that never join in the first place over it.

 

But, BSA as a private organization can set "membership requirements" anyway they see fit, I actually support that. I just personally don't agree with them and I and others always have the right to go elsewhere or stay because of the great things BSA does provide. What just gets under my skin and what made me lose my cool earlier was that people seem to pretend that the BSA does not discriminate (legal or illegal) and not acknowledge that for some people that is why they leave.

 

 

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"What just gets under my skin and what made me lose my cool earlier was that people seem to pretend that the BSA does not discriminate (legal or illegal) and not acknowledge that for some people that is why they leave."

 

Outdoors,

Please site how BSA illegally discriminates.

 

I guess some people might leave over BSA not allowing gay leaders but I haven't seen it.

 

I have personal seen families leaving over these "discriminatory" practices:

A Cub quit because the family were atheists and didn't feel we should have "Scout's Own" service on camping trips. Obviously we discriminated against their religious rights.

A Scout left because we wouldn't let his mom's "significant other" go camping with us unless he registered and took YP. Found out later he had a child abuse charge. The individual had done his time but we still discriminated by not letting him attend.

A 16 year old Scout left because we wouldn't let him cheat on his Eagle project. Apparently we discriminated since every boy has the right to be given the Eagle award irregardless of their Scout Spirit.

 

And of course there's all the typical reasons such as sports, after school activities, boredom with the program, divorce, etc.

But leave because BSA doesn't allow gay leaders, nope, haven't seen it.

 

Also please note that I was able to make my point without inappropriate language or name calling.

 

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If families choose to not join Scouts or to drop out of Scouting for ANY reason, I fully support that right and liberty.

 

It's a part of our freedom to associate with those groups and people that we find congenial and desirable.

 

I find it rather amusing that people who object to BSAs freedom of association take their own very seriously.

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Outdoors

 

I think you are being way too fatalistic over parents leaving because of the "gay" issue. The truth is that the numbers leaving over that particular issue alone is extremely small on a nationwide basis. People are not as out of touch as you seem to think, the news media covering pedophile cases in the BSA, and National's position with the issue has made sure of that. I think you really are tilting at windmills here. Realistically this is not even a make it or break it issue with the vast majority of scouting parents.

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I was approached by one father at our recruiting event this year for the Pack. He wanted to know the Pack's policy - I told him the pack has no policy, but that BSA national does not allow registration of gays and lesbians as official adult volunteers. I also told him that if the parent of a Scout wants to participate - the pack welcomes them.

 

Based on that response - he was willing to join.

 

My Pack recruiting is down 30% from last year. I have no idea how much that is correlated with ALL of the negative press the BSA has had in recent weeks.

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WAKWIB, I only got a few responses, maybe 50% (depending on whether you use the council list or the REAL list ;) )

A few parents approached me in the parking lot after a meeting and noted their concern but indicated that as long as they had confidence in the unit leadership and the program that the boys were in, they'd ignore the policy to one degree or another.

One parent responded fairly negatively and I had to talk her out of pulling out.

Several others indicated that they already knew about the policy before they joined and had already made their decision to 'hold their noses' as long as this issue never erupted for this unit.

They did indicate that three families (friends of theirs) who had originally considered scouting, had decided not to join in the first place. I understand that this could merely be a convenient excuse for something they had planned anyway.

There was genuine surprise from some of the rest who responded, and concern, but no one indicted their intention to leave because of the policy. If they ever do leave, I seriously doubt they'll state this policy as a reason.

The gay adults are quite aware of the policy but they already understand the 'lay of the land' in all this. Their decisions are based on other things. They know that neither the CO nor the leadership considers that there is a responsibility to act as 'sexual orientation police' so I think they feel comfortable in the unit as it is. Pretty much the way BSA has approached it as well.

 

The CO is a 'welcoming' group so if there is any kind of big impact from this policy it will come from that level. But so far, no one has made an issue of it so I think the policy is like the 'elephant in the room'. It's there, it's wrong, it's unpleasant or hurtful, but it won't go away, so we'll just try to ignore it.

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Thanks for the update Pack. Like you said, it is the big elephant in the room. But, like you found out, there are not a lot of screams and groans out there in the field. I think it's us long term Scouters who wring our hands about it the most. I've been in, out, around, and back in Scouting over a period of 40 years. Most of my peers in the org. about the same. It's a fork in the road for us and we feel conflicted to a certain level. We have that "traditional" sense that the policy well...it's just been there. We got along with a don't ask/don't tell approach. Whether we thought gay was good or bad wasn't really a matter. But the culture of today has thrust it into the limelight and we see that those following behind us have a different sense of the issue. We are just kinda ready for whatever happens and will likely keep on Scouting no matter what.

Be Prepared!! :)

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